- Estonia is ranked as the easiest country to obtain a one-year work visa upon getting a job via the Work in Estonia website.
- The visa can enable you to visit other Schengen countries for no more than three months within 180 days, and a residency permit can be obtained after two months.
- The application fee for the work visa is €100 and the processing time is 30 days.
Estonia happens to be the easiest country to obtain a work visa, due to its high acceptance rate for work visa applications. Interestingly, the country also receives a lower number of requests in comparison to other nations.
Therefore, Estonia may be a good choice for employment abroad even for work on a short-term project. Upon arrival, you can apply for a residence permit through a D visa.
If you do not hold citizenship in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland and you want to work in Estonia, you must apply for an Estonian work visa which entitles you to employment in Estonia for one year but with the possibility of renewal.
Before applying for a work visa, the Work in Estonia website is a good place to start because new job openings are posted every day.
You can learn how to apply to Estonia from the information in this article.
Conditions to obtain an Estonian Work Visa
To be eligible to apply for an Estonian work visa, you must fulfil the following criteria:
- Be qualified physically and mentally for the job and receive a legitimate employment agreement. Thereafter your employer must register you with the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board.
- Provide all the requirements for an Estonian work visa such as a current passport, two passport-size photos, and an application form.
- Fill out the application form online. Select the long-stay D visa option, and make sure you fully complete it with all the correct information after which you print a hard copy and sign it at the end.
- You must pay for your visa application after completing the application form. When you present the documents at the consulate or embassy, you can make payment.
- With other requested documents, affix the payment receipt.
- A certificate of your legal health insurance. Your health insurance must have a coverage limit and be valid throughout the entire Schengen region. You will be covered by Estonian health insurance once you enter the country.
- Documents demonstrating that you have a place to stay while visiting Estonia, which should: Proof of lodging, lease or contract, an invitation letter, etc.
- A cover letter introducing the sender to the embassy
- A criminal record. This document must be released by the police authorities in your home country and must demonstrate that you have a clean criminal record.
- Work agreement. The work contract must specify the nature of the work you will be performing in Estonia. It must include your salary, work hours, and so on. This document demonstrates that you have a job waiting for you in Estonia.
- Documents proving personal qualification. These documents demonstrate that you are qualified for the position for which you have applied. They should be a certificate of your educational level, CV, driving license (if applicable), etc.
Registering employment in Estonia
Your employer must register your short-term employment in Estonia.
This document allows you to work in Estonia until you receive your residence permit. For your employer to apply for your short-term employment, you must give them a copy of your passport, photo, and other required personal details. After that, you will receive an ID code, an 11-digit number used to identify your details in Estonia.
Application fee and processing time
- The processing time for an Estonian work visa is 30 days. However, the processing time can be extended since it depends on several factors. In addition, it takes another two months to receive a residence permit after you enter Estonia.
- The Estonian fee for a work visa is €100. The payment for your visa application needs to be done when submitting the documents to the embassy/consulate in your home country.
- The duration of an Estonian work visa is 365 days. If you want to stay longer, you must apply for a temporary residence permit after you enter Estonia, which is issued for up to five years and is renewable.
- With this visa, you can visit other Schengen countries for no more than three months within 180 days.
- You can extend your work visa in Estonia for at least three working days before your visa expires. Then, make sure you submit your application in person at any of the Police and Border Guard Board offices in Estonia.
- You can bring your family members with you on an Estonian work visa and they will be allowed to work, study and stay in the country. Your family members are defined as your spouse (partner), cohabiting partner, child (under the age of 18), and older relatives (if they are older than age 65) with health problems.
Things to know about working in Estonia
If you are considering working in Estonia, keep the following points in mind:
- There is no such thing in Estonia as a special “work permit”. You can work here if your employer has registered your short-term employment and your stay is legal (e.g., you have a D-visa) or if you have a valid (temporary) residence permit for working.
- In Estonia, the average monthly wage is €1,150. The amount you earn each month depends on the job.
- Asides from rent, the average monthly expense in Estonia for a single person is (€661). You might have to pay as much as €188 per month for premium health insurance, depending on the type of insurer you select.
- You must initially apply for a temporary residence permit (for work up to 5 years with your first permit).
- You can apply for a long-term residence permit once you have been a temporary resident of Estonia for five years.
Estonia is a country in Northern Europe, which borders the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. It has over 1,500 islands and islets. Estonians can communicate in Estonian, English, Russian, Finnish, and German.
The country has a population of about 1.3 million people but is larger than Denmark or Holland. The Republic of Estonia is a Digital Society because from its voting to signing documents to filing taxes online, digital technology is utilized extensively.
Furthermore, Estonia has the world’s first e-government and provides e-residency to people from all over the world. Angela Merkel and Barack Obama are among those who have received the Estonian e-residency.